Capezio Activewear Shoot #2

I had another opportunity to shoot with Stef to feature some new clothing by Capezio.  We had the luxury of having a gym to ourselves for a few hours so we took advantage of the space and time.


Another advantage of having the whole gym to yourself is you can use any of the "props" that are around.  How about a super large tire?


We were going for demonstrating strength and maybe a couple tricks to show flexibility.  I think we did both in this shoot.


We also had a small team that helped on this shoot.  Big thank you to the following: 
ModelStefania Damiano
Hair + MUASamantha Linn
RetouchingOlya Bro 
Gym: JD Core Training

Corporate Headshots with Marloes

I was hired by a company representing the WTC Netherlands Alliance Magazine to photograph Marloes, a Dutch lawyer from Amsterdam, currently living in NYC and working for E&Y.  We took a variety of shots starting with these...


As I'm sure you can tell, we spent our time together in Time Square.  This felt like the best setting for her since she's showcasing her time in NYC and to non-New Yorker's, what's more characteristic of NYC than Time Square?


I was thrilled to see that a few of these images made it to the WTC Netherlands Magazine.  Thanks to Frank van Bergen from ASEGA Media for finding me for this gig and to Marloes for taking some time out of her busy day to capture the snapshot of what her life is like now in NYC.

World Trade Center Netherlands Alliance Magazine #6 - TOC

World Trade Center Netherlands Alliance Magazine #6 - TOC

World Trade Center Netherlands Alliance Magazine #6 - Full Article

World Trade Center Netherlands Alliance Magazine #6 - Full Article

Capezio Activewear Shoot

Stephanie, whom I've worked with multiple times in the past, recently was selected for an opportunity to model some new Capezio clothing.  She asked me to help capture some images to market these clothes to the active, fit females everywhere!


We had access to a gym that she works out in called Fairlambfit in Northern NJ.  We pretty much had the whole gym to ourselves which allowed us to explore without having to ask people to step out of the way :-) 


Steph had a few pieces of clothing to feature so we moved around a bit to keep in the sports/active mode while featuring the clothing, and her, in action.  She got a little workout in the meantime.


Keeping it real.  Steph has been a dancer for many years which allows her to move and stretch like one.   


For this last one, we got a little help with the edit. Thanks to Olya Bro for some photoshop work on this one to clean up the surroundings.  Great kick!

Beach Volleyball Sports Shoot

I planned a beach volleyball shoot in the summer and it didn't work out and boy am I glad.  This is the shoot I planned but not when it was originally scheduled.  For various reasons we had to push it back to early September and we were blessed with a beautiful warm day and nobody around since it was a day when most people are back to their lives after the summer is over.


I had worked with Erke before but this time she brought along a friend, Cassandra.  Super fun to work with and her height came in handy for jumps like you see above and even beforehand with hooking up the net since none of us could reach without a step stool.


We headed to Bradley Beach on the NJ Shore and pretty much had the run of the place.  We started shooting around 3pm and shot until the sun set.  Now these girls are not pro volleyball players but you'd never be able to tell.  We were fortunate to have help with the location and instruction from Landa (true volleyball player and referee).  


Both of these girls went at it pretty hard all day with jumping and diving for the ball.  We took a break just before the golden hour and got back to it for some of these shots.


Such a fun shoot on the beach!  This last set above is more of their expertise.  Love working with talented people!  Big thanks to Erke & Cassandra!

Kelly's Portraits

Kelly responded to a casting call I placed a couple months ago on Model Mayhem.  I had a lot of responses and she was my top choice but we weren't able to work together because of scheduling conflicts so I kept her info for another opportunity to do some test shots.

Darrin Estep Photography | portraits

I'm glad I waited.  Her features are striking and what I was pleasantly surprised to find out as well is that she is very down to earth and fun to work with.  I started with a few images that were near a window before I broke out lights.  Natural window light is hard to beat.

Darrin Estep Photography | portraits

She mentioned that she didn't have as much in her portfolio that are full body so I selected one of the dresses she brought to the shoot and we played around with this outfit.  

Darrin Estep Photography | portraits

We ran short on time so I ended with a few headshots of her with this dress.  The session was short but sweet.  I hope we can work again in the future.

ModelKelly Mulvihill
MUANicole Maldonado

Modeling Portraits with KimC

Now and again I like to use ModelMayhem to help find new people to work with.  I put a last minute shoot together to keep things interesting and put a challenge in front of me to think on my feet.

DarrinEstepPhotography | portraits

As I usually like to do, we started with beauty shots.  I find this really helps to break the ice and for myself and the model to get a little time to connect.  Well, this was pretty quick and easy with Kim.  She looks intense but she was very down to earth and easy to talk to and I remember being impressed on the day of the shoot that she would very easily go from smiling and laughing to being completely "in character".

DarrinEstepPhotography | portraits

We had this nice exposed brick to work with so we played around with that for a couple looks. Kim has super long legs and I wanted to feature that in some of the images.  She asked if I prefer working with taller models and I said, "Sure, as long as I have my step stool with me :-)"

DarrinEstepPhotography | portraits

We were running short on time toward the end and there was a couch I wanted to use so I moved it in front of my black backdrop to isolate Kim against the couch.  Love what we got here.

Thanks to Kim (model) and Sheila on make-up for making it a fun, successful shoot.

Corporate Headshots: Vidhi from Stride

Stride has a new VP of Client Services.  Her name is Vidhi.  I sat down with her recently to capture her likeness to grace the pages of the Stride website.  Coincidentally, I almost worked with Vidhi a few years back.  I was just leaving a company and she was just coming in.  With Debbie as our mutual connection, we meet again.

Darrin Estep Photography | Corporate

My default for a shoot like this is to light it up.  Not this time.  There was some beautiful light  coming from a window camera-left so we went with that.  She has a great smile and we were able  to get some nice images in a very short period of time.

These are a few of my favorites from the session with her.  Vidhi, congratulations on the new role.  You’ve earned it and I’m sure you’ll enjoy working with the Stride family as much as they’ll enjoy you.

Darrin Estep Photography | Corporate Headshots

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Central Park Senior Portraits: Ally & Katlynn

A couple months ago, I received an inquiry from Kim, Ally's mom to shoot a senior portrait session for her daughter while they visited NYC from Kentucky.  Ally was bringing a friend so we arranged to shoot with both of them.  Ally & Katlynn will be seniors in high school in the coming year and were taking a summer trip together.  

I scouted out a few locations, hired a trusted MUA (thanks Nicole), set a time to meet at 72nd Street & Central Park West and we're off.   Since Katlynn was ready first, we shot a few images a short walk from where we met.  Here are a few of my favorites... 

Darrin Estep Photography | senior portraits

Next up was Ally. There are so many great places to shoot in Central Park and one of my favorites is  Bethesda Fountain.  There's an amazing set of stairs and some world famous arches that I really enjoying reinterpreting each time I shoot there.  We happen to find a musician playing which made it even more fun to shoot.

Darrin Estep Photography | senior portraits

A quick step to the outside the arches and we're in front of the fountain.

A few more with outfit #2...

Darrin Estep Photography | senior portraits

Switching back to Katlynn, she also had an outfit change and we stumbled upon a "bubble guy" (I'm sure he's got a more official title but I'm not aware of it) so we had a little fun with that.

Darrin Estep Photograpy | senior portraits
Darrin Estep Photograpy | senior portraits

Of course we had the bubble guy work his magic for both of them...

Darrin Estep Photograpy | senior portraits
Darrin Estep Photograpy | senior portraits

Finishing with a few more showing some of the cabs passing by.  I enjoyed the time with these girls and hope they had a memorable journey for their trip to NYC this summer.

Stride Corporate Headshots

Something that I think every business strives for is repeat work.  It strengthens the relationship and helps to solidify that you’re a good match with that client.  With Stride, and more specifically Debbie Madden, I’ve been working with her on creative projects for a few years now.  She’s been growing her business and has some new hires that needed headshots so they called me to do the shoot.

Lucille is the Head of Talent at Stride and comes from the General Assembly and Google most recently.  Here are some favorites from our session around the streets of NYC.

Darrin Estep Photography - corporate headshots NYC
Darrin Estep Photography - corporate headshots NYC

Lisa is also new to Stride and is the VP of Engineering.  She’s worked with Debbie prior to Stride at Cyrus and comes from London where she worked for The Guardian.  She told me she had one headshot from that time that worked for all occasions and didn’t fancy being in front of the camera but got comfortable quickly after some initial shots.


I look forward to continued interactions with this great group of people.  

Corrie J: Boudoir in Vegas

Continuing with my series of shoots I did while I was in Vegas this year for WPPI, the last one I’m writing about is with Corrie J.  She models full time in Vegas and works various conventions and events, of which there are many in Vegas.  

When I first decided on Corrie, I was a little worried because she’s almost 6’ tall - and I’m not.  I couldn’t bring a ladder all the way to Vegas so I improvised when I needed to be eye level with her (like standing on chairs :-)).  I like the before and after shots so I put this comparison together for that reason.  The one on the left is probably 5 minutes after she walked in the door.

CorrieJ-Before and After Headshot

Here, I’ve got some of Bri’s work-in-progress with Corrie along with her kit spread out on the table.


Some beauty/headshots before some other poses...


Some variations in a comfy chair that I really liked the angles on.  Even though I’m featuring the one with her looking at the camera, I really like the shot on the right with her looking down.

CorrieJ-Chair beauty

Going for something soft and in the moment for these...


Then for something a little more edgy and dynamic for the ones below.


Corrie brought a lot of clothes to the shoot.  Her suitcase was bigger than mine and very pink.  I wish I would have taken a picture of it but I didn’t.  So, I thought it would be fun to show all the things she brought in an interesting way so we put all the clothes on the bed and had her pose as if she’s exhausted from the mere thought of having to pick something to wear.  Fun stuff.


Harley's Photo Session

I’ve had quite a bit to write about from my WPPI experience in Vegas this year.  This post is about Harley which was one of the two scheduled shoots.  All interactions with Harley were upbeat and positive... and when this happens I feel the need to point it out.  It makes the whole experience so much nicer. 

This was my first time working with Harley, and the first of two shoots working with Bri, the make-up artist (MUA).  Whenever possible I like to shoot the prep to show a little of the behind the scenes (BTS).  I selected a few of Bri working on Harley below.  The role of the MUA is so important to the shoot that I’ve keep a separate gallery dedicated to the work they’ve done on my shoots. Thanks to all they do!

One of the talks I attended at WPPI talked about the use of props; specifically how they don’t like to use them.  I personally find them to be kind of fun to incorporate into a shoot if not overdone (which is subjective).  As you can see from these images I’ve used a few props but its all done with a playfulness in mind.  

Another topic that’s often discussed within the photography industry is evoking emotion from the viewer.  I’d rather have you love or hate the images vs. feeling nothing.  Love it or hate it, I’m creating something that I want you react to.  If I've achieved that, I've done my job as a photographer and as an artist. 

Unplanned 30 minute photo shoot

I love unexpected surprises.  Three years ago I shot for the first time during WPPI with Meli and again in 2013 in the desert.  Her husband Shayne, was my assistant holding a reflector in the desert with wind blowing and sand kicking up while Meli was doing her best to avoid the glare of the sun and not fall in the cracks of the desert floor.  

I like to balance between working with new and repeat clients for a variety of reasons.  Funny enough, I had actually planned to work with one repeat model from last year and she was a no-show one hour before shoot time - you never know.  Meli noticed, through the power of social media, that I was going to be in town and reached out to me to come by.  After some texting, we worked out a small window of time to swing by.  

I had some other plans on the night we chose so we needed to make it quick.  As soon as she came in the door, I got her in front of the camera and started shooting.  To her credit, we managed to get a variety of images in about 30 minutes (which is super short for me).  Meli is a very experienced model that needs no direction.  She just knows how to emote these great expressions and move each time the flash goes off to vary the look each time.

Darrin Estep photography fashion Vegas

This one below was my favorite!  This one has been added to my portfolio!

Darrin Estep photography fashion Vegas

And a few more with the pink fuzzy coat.  Thanks Meli for swinging by.

Darrin Estep photography fashion Vegas

Catalog Shoot

Once in a while I come across something new and different.  This was one of those times.  I was commissioned to shoot approximately 150 pieces of clothing for the upcoming summer season (dreaming of summer right about now in January) by using 4 models which gave us a few minutes per outfit based on the time we had to shoot.  Yikes!


What you see above is about 1/3 of the line we shot that day.  Its a little hard to make out but you'll notice there's a small object in the lower left of all the photos.  This is an iPad with a product number on it so when Dave (the manufacturer) needs to take orders from his clients, they know what product they're talking about.  We had so many pieces of clothing to photograph that the MUA (Jennifer) ended up modeling for us as well.  Great shoot!

MUA: Jennifer Haines
Models: Melanie, Alina, Kiki, Sarah
Clothing Manufacturer: Satguru Enterprises
Photographer: me :-)

Lisa's Portrait Session

Today I am featuring a portrait session I shot with Lisa.  She's a professional violinist and wanted some updated headshots.  My goal for the session was to deliver a variety of looks she could use.

We managed to get both indoor and outdoor photos even with the chilly weather in December.  We started inside and her dog wanted to be a part of the action so, why deny her that opportunity.

north jersey professional head shots

Something I find myself doing on most every shoot is moving furniture.  I think I need to add that to the about me page :-)  I’m always striving to put my clients in the best light and without distracting elements in the background.  For the next setup, I wanted to feature Lisa on this old couch that had great curves and shape but didn't want the same backdrop as before. 


By this time in the shoot, the sun had fallen a bit and the golden hour had arrived.  That would be about 3:30 in the afternoon for December in the northeast.  She had a great outdoor space and we captured a few photos while we could both stand to be outside in the cold weather.


Before we closed up shop and moved furniture back in place, I wanted to get some dramatic photos of her playing the violin so….furniture move (again) and changed out the backdrop to black.  I setup one light, just out of frame to her left. I had her play a little something while I took these...


Ekaterina Dramatic Headshots

Once in a while I try to shoot something fun, something I find interesting.  I posted on ModelMayhem (popular site for sourcing models, make-up artists [MUA], etc.) for a casting call to do dramatic headshots and was overwhelmed with responses.  I chose Lyndsey, the MUA, almost immediately.  She has great work and awesome review as well.  The model took more thought and one consideration for me was that I don't have nearly as many blonds in my portfolio as I do brunets.  

Ekaterina was ultimately my choice.  I also used a service that I've used in the past which is called Breather.  Its a small, one room place that you can rent by the hour.  It works pretty well for photo sessions.  I should have allowed more time but...I had to work with the time allowed.  I probably had 30 min in total to shoot.   Here are my favorites...


I love doing these kinds of shoots.  Next time, I'll give myself more time to explore!

Author Headshots & Video: Heather

In the first of a two-part series for my work with Heather, I'm publishing some bio shots I completed recently for her.  She's wrapping up her first publication about empowering women to be able to make their own choices regarding marriage and children, without blindly following the traditional path.  As of this writing, I don't believe the book has a title yet so once we can link to it on Amazon (or wherever it will be available) I'll add the link here.

On the day we shot these headshots, we did both video and stills.  Heather's sister came along as well to help with Heather's wardrobe changes and to be the supportive sister that I'm sure she is.  

This shoot was the first time I'd ever tried to do both photography and video on the same day.  Since we had already had several conversations about how we wanted the content to feel, it wasn't too hard switching between the material.  Preplanning is huge when it comes to something more than just grabbing some updated portraits!


We chose Dumbo, in Brooklyn, as our shooting location.  It really offers a lot of options for different types of setup's and with the right angling, you can get some pretty different environmental settings within a small area.


At this point, we don't know what the book cover and art for the cover will look like so we kept our options open with the feel of the shoot.


A funny coincidence in the vertical shot of Heather with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background is that since her book is about following a non-traditional path, we stumbled upon several brides while we were shooting.  One of them is very small in the far background of this image.


I would be remiss in not crediting the help I received from Theresa Keil.  She captured these last couple images while I was still setting up.  I look forward to the next set of material we capture for Heather which will be more video content.

Amy's Headshots

I've been using a new service called Thumbtack to obtain business.  So far, so good.  The way it works is that a person in need of a professional service, like photography perhaps, would post a request for...oh, I don't know - headshots let's say.  As a service provider of said headshots, I have the opportunity to bid on the request.  If the requester likes the quote and my profile, they can respond and offer me the gig.  Amy did just that.

Amy's an actor in NYC and her agency wanted some new headshots done for her portfolio.  There were some pretty specific things they were after so we focused on that first and then did some other things to play a bit later in the shoot.

I called on Nicole, a makeup artist I'd worked with in the past.  She's great!  Very reliable, does great work and is always willing to help with more than make-up duty.  

We started with a variety of colors and tops on black since part of the requirement was to get some clean shots of Amy with this variety.  These are some of my favorites.


Whenever I do headshots, I like to get some that probably lean more toward beauty shots vs. a traditional headshot.  Here are a few that I liked of that set.


One of the fist things Amy mentioned to me when I met her in person is that she is challenged with *not* smiling.  I had to stop and think about that for a minute since I would say its much more common for people to struggle with having a nice, natural smile on camera.  Sounded like a challenge to me to come away with at least a few for her that she was a bit more serious.  As you can see from the featured image in the set above, she nailed it.  She even knew of a technique that I believe Peter Hurley invented called the "squinch".  Essentially its 'squinting your eye lids in a way that portrays confidence'.  We had fun playing with the look.


We then moved onto another location.  The set of three above are actually shot in natural light (which I don't tend to do very often).  I've shot in this location before and really like the options it gives you as an artist.

Only a few feet away from the previous set with Amy sitting on the bench, there was a post I had her stand near for a few images with a blazer and a set of glasses.  Again, with the goal of giving the agency some options with making Amy more marketable.

Finally, a few from the same location as the blazer but with just the green top and a bit more casual.  It was a real pleasure working with Amy for the first time.  She is as nice and down-to-earth as she is beautiful.  As the shoot went on, she also provided laughs "on the set".  I'll leave you with a few silly faces that came through in the session that got us all laughing.  

Headshots for Shashi

I've been fortunate enough this year to have a pretty steady stream of work.  I received an email not too long ago to do some portraits for Shashi that ultimately she wanted to be able to send to her family in India.

When I arrived, I asked if she had any pictures of herself either in her place or online and she didn't - hence, the request for headshots :-)


Shashi was a self proclaimed introvert and seemed a little uneasy in front of the camera so we took a little time getting to know each other.  It didn't take long to discover that she is a writer in her off time in addition to her daytime work.  Throughout her life, she's interview some interesting people and talking about these interviews, is what I discovered, made her comfortable in front of the camera and allowed us to get some genuine smiles from her.  Shashi, it was nice working with you and I hope your family enjoys the images we were able to create.

Model Headshots for Melissa

Last year, I shot for the first time working with Melissa and we hit it off.  She’s so great to work with and this session was just as awesome.  We proved again that spending some time before the shoot going over various looks via Pinterest and choosing outfits and accessories is a valuable activity. 

I snapped a couple shots of Amanda & Melissa before we started shooting.  She has so much hair that it turned out to be a bit of a blessing and a curse.  Styling all that hair takes time!

Prep for hair and make-up

Prep for hair and make-up

Images that resonate with me have a simple composition and draw your eye directly to the subject.  I have a pretty simple lighting set up here that helps achieve the look I'm after.

Simple lighting and non-distracting background keeps your eye on Melissa

Simple lighting and non-distracting background keeps your eye on Melissa

Alternate looks but still keeping it simple

Alternate looks but still keeping it simple

Finally got to use my fan! - Thanks Amanda for standing in to help.

Finally got to use my fan! - Thanks Amanda for standing in to help.

Hands up!

Hands up!

Hair everywhere. One of my favorites of the day was this composure where Melissa created her own frame.

Hair everywhere. One of my favorites of the day was this composure where Melissa created her own frame.

The location I used was a little different than what I've used in the past.  I used a service called Breather where you can rent a small (and I mean Manhattan small) room by the hour.  Its a great business idea and someone else suggested this as an option so I thought I’d give it a shot.  Once we navigated our way to the room, I noticed this set of stairs and made that a second shooting location.  This turned out to be a bonus of shooting on the weekend since nobody was traveling up and down the stairs.

Stairs and railing helped to create some interest in the composure

Stairs and railing helped to create some interest in the composure

And a few more back in the room to finish off the shoot.  A big thanks to Melissa for coming out to NYC from Boston and for Amanda for showing us her talents on hair and make-up.  I'm looking forward to the next shoot!

Relaxing on the couch

Relaxing on the couch

Clothing Promotion: Strong Minds & Body

Round two shooting for a person I've only met through some email exchanges.  Its a little unusual with photography for things to happen this way but the reason this works is that the client isn't the subject of my images.  The lovely Kait is.  I first met Kait on a tattoo shoot (surprise there) and we've connected a couple more times to shoot - one of which was this one to grab some photos of some casual clothing options for a brand called Strong Minds Apparel.

Here are some images from our recent shoot.

Always awesome working together.  I'll have more images from Kait coming up soon...